My father, WJ McDowall, was an amazing teacher. He was a high school teacher by profession, but he was also someone who knew how to teach. He taught his students how to learn, not what to learn. I know this because I was lucky enough to have him as a teacher in my last two years of high school.
At the beginning of each year he shared his ideas on marks and marking. He told our class that he
could give everyone the same grade - an A+ - but that we probably wouldn't want that. And when we thought about it, we realized that A+ would be meaningless because it would not reflect our efforts and achievements. So he told us how to earn a legitimate A+ in his class by telling a story about going on a field trip.
F = you fail to find the field
D = you find the field and stumble across a stone or two
C = you turn over several stones and see what’s underneath them
B = you turn over most of the stones
A = you turn over all of the stones
But to get an A+, you not only had to find and turn over and look under all the stones in the field, you had to find and step into the next field. It wasn’t enough to be able to regurgitate facts and figures or even to solve prepared problems. An A+ was about finding the passion to set off on your own learning adventure. In my adulthood I realized this story wasn’t just talking about his class, but about how to get an A+ in life, whatever you are doing. He was talking about how to get ahead by following your passions and interests.
Today I facilitate and train facilitators to lead KMI Master Minds™. These are a different kind of master mind; master minds only found in the next field. They blend Kaizen and Creativity within a flexible structure that naturally leads members to abundant opportunities to explore and elevate their ideas. This in turn leads to self-illuminating Aha moments; those delightful and often subtle shifts that can propel a thought into action with a small step (turning over a stone) and sometimes a whole new possibility presents itself (the next field)